8th grade

Becky VanHoweling


E: becky.vanhoweling@dmschools.org


I graduated from Grand View with my special education degree in December of 2001.   I started my teaching career at Hiatt in 2002.  In 2005, I received my Masters of Education from Graceland University in Quality Teaching Strategies. I live in Pella, but I don’t mind the commute because it gives me some time to myself.    I have two daughters, that keep my husband and I very busy with all of their activities.  In my free time, I love spending time outdoors, going to sprint car races, and spending time with friends and family.

Brenda Cornwell

E: brenda.cornwell@dmschools.org

Connie Auxier-Grau

8th Grade Math

E: connie.auxiergrau@dmschools.org

Haley Davis

8th Grade Science

E: haley.davis@dmschools.org


I currently teach 8th grade science at Amos Hiatt Middle School. This is my first year teaching at Hiatt and I am excited to be a part of a strong community. I graduated from Iowa State University with bachelor’s degree in biology and anthropology and a master’s degree in secondary science. Between getting my bachelor’s degree and master’s degree, I worked at Monsanto. I enjoy taking my dog, Jasper, to the Ames Dog Park and Iowa Arboretum.

Jessica Klages

Language Arts

E: jessica.klages@dmschools.org

Patty Gronewold

E: patty.gronewold@dmschools.org


I began teaching at Amos Hiatt in the fall of 1988.  I have taught math at all three grades over the years.  I have served Hiatt outside the classroom in a variety of ways.

I am married and have two children.  We live on the East side of Des Moines.  Both of my children graduated from East High School.  Outside of school I enjoy being with my family, sports, and reading.

Rachel Crane

8th Grade Science

E: rachel.crane@dmschools.org


I have been teaching at Hiatt since 2015 and I enjoy sharing my passion for science and understanding how the world works with students here.  I am originally from Mason City, Iowa, earned my Bachelor degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota, and my Master in Education degree from Pace University in New York.  I returned to Iowa after teaching in New York and Chicago for 9 years.  I live with my husband, Mike, our son, Stanley, and my daughter, Harriet.

Tracy Draeger

8th Grade Civics

E: tracy.draeger@dmschools.org


My name is Tracy Draeger and I am one of the 7th grade social studies teachers.  I have been teaching since 1998. I have taught a variety of subjects, but have been at the middle school level my entire career.  When I am not in school, I spend most of my time watching my children play sports.  If time allows, I enjoy cheering on the Hawkeyes.